The Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) is planning to launch an online platform to compete head on with OTAs.
The platform, expected to go online this year-end, will offer a marketplace for TAFI member agents and tour operators to buy and sell hotels, specialised tours and allied services like visas, transportation and cruises.
"Even at a time when OTAs are growing their base alarmingly, no one can deny the expertise and contracting power of traditional offline travel agents. Some of the rates offered by us are unmatchable,” said TAFI president Praveen Chugh.
“So we are looking to help offline travel agents (by coming) together and benefit from each other's expertise.”
The platform has the added benefit of allowing TAFI members to better engage with multiple global suppliers for their business needs in real-time.
"Together, we will be in a position to own market share and negotiate on the basis of demand. Thousands of entrepreneurs working together are much stronger than a few OTAs,” added Chugh.
He further expressed concern that OTAs are overtaking traditional agents through excessive discounting and cashbacks.
"In order to combat this challenge, we have to come together and create an online ecosystem where together we can combat OTAs.”